I like to call the fall “the fullness of the year.”
I don’t know if this expression is still used by clergy or anyone else, but it seems to me that many years ago people did say this a lot more. When a person passed on in his or her late 80s or 90s — or even older — it was said that he passed “in the fullness of his years.”
I love that phrase. It means that life has come full circle and the years are complete and full in him. He’s gotten everything out of life that he reasonably could, and the years have given to him everything they had.
My mother passed when she was 93 years of age. In my view she left us much too soon, but I think in every sense she died in the fullness of her years because she had a good life and enriched the lives of those around her.
My father was 86, just a little younger, but the same could be said of him. The years were good to him and he gave back to life as much as it gave to him.
“The fullness of their years.”
That could be said at a different age for different people, of course. I hope it is said of me — later rather than earlier. I’d like to give the years a chance to do their thing. And me mine.
It seems to me that the Earth itself is following the same cycle, except on a seasonal basis. At this time of year, it is fair bursting with the need to share the fullness that it’s been accumulating all year. It seems immensely proud of what it’s accomplished and can’t wait to show it all off.
Reminds me of Daughter No. 2’s first baby. I was in St. John’s meeting with the minister of health when she was born, but as soon as the meeting was over I was on the road back to central to see Daughter and her first child and our first grandchild.
On my way to her room I had to pass the nursery and stopped to see this latest addition to our family. Of course, she was absolutely beautiful with traces of Smith in her that were obvious even then.
So what if her eyes were blue, and her mother’s eyes were brown as were her grandmother’s eyes and my eyes were a mixture of green and brown flecks. So what if her father’s eyes were blue. The Smith was unmistakably there.
I continued on in to Daughter’s room. She was bursting with pride.
“Hi Daddy,” were her first words. “Did I do good?”
“Yes, Honey, you did real good!”
I saw the same look on the face of Daughter No. 1 when she presented us with her newborn son, our first grandson, a couple of years later. I saw him when he was about 20 minutes old and had the same reaction.
“Yes, love, you did good!”
It seems the Earth is speaking with the same pride and I am moved to respond, not with the same emotion but certainly the same sense of wonder, “Yes, old girl, you’ve done real well.”
Our cherry tree growing up through our deck was loaded with big, juicy cherries three weeks ago, and we managed to get them before the blue jays did. Didn’t know Cooey 12-gauge shotguns cost that much, or that OH was that good a shot. Or that blue feathers look so good floating in the air.
We have a giant apple tree with no fewer than 10 large apples on it. Last year it had several bushels. Can’t expect Mother Nature to go without sleep all the time. On the other hand, we have a little tree about five feet tall with nine beautiful Granny Smith apples on it.
Our deck also has multitudinous carrots, enough beet to keep us all winter, a few peas and plenty of beans for those who don’t like them very much.
Same is true for spinach, Swiss chard and radishes. There are potatoes growing in plastic tubs — enough for one each for Thanksgiving dinner — and tons of tomatoes, especially the Sweet Million variety.
I think we have at least one pumpkin.
Up on our miniscule plot of land we have seven or eight dozen cornstalks which should produce a few tasty ears some time. They usually do. Back to the deck — add a few cucumbers, a few peppers, a few eggplant, a couple of dozen crabapples, a tree pretty full of damsons and another tree with six plums on it, and you pretty well have have our crop.
Not finished yet. Using the letter I got from DFO authorizing an extra five fish for me if there are only two in the boat during food fishery time, Son has been going out with some friends and with their help caught more than enough for the winter — fresh and salt. Bless his heart. Bless all their hearts!
He went up the highway a couple of days ago to give the dog a run and discovered a veritable treasure trove of raspberries in a sandpit. Then he decided to drop a line in his favourite pond and hauled out a good size trout, something he’s been doing all summer.
Blueberries are already ripe and beautiful. They say they contain more health benefits than any other food nature gives. That, no doubt, accounts for the popularity of blueberry wine. It’s certainly the attraction for me.
Shortly padggeberries (the proper scientific word for partridgeberry or lindenberry) will be available for connoisseurs of this kind of wine. They claim the same kind of magic health benefit (temporary) as others do for marijuana.
Nature is wise and generous in the fullness of her giving.
Ed Smith is an author who lives in
Springdale. His email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.